There is a lot riding on the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings this week, with much of Marvel/Disney's future releases hinging on how well the movie performs on its theatrical only debut. According to Deadline, the latest addition to the MCU is heading for a record breaking $90 million opening weekend, which would blow away the previous Labor Day opening record of Halloween back in 2007.
Labor Day has been a black hole for movie releases in the past, with studio's conscious that the holiday weekend usually means many people heading outdoors for the last bit of summer sun, but that seems to have gone out of the window following 2021's challenging landscape when it comes to what people do and don't feel comfortable doing.
Shang-Chi's debut was one of the movies expected to utilize the day and date strategy that saw Black Widow arrive On Demand at the same time it debuted in theaters, but Disney were adamant that whatever the current Covid status, Shang-Chi would release in movie theaters only and would pave the way for future releases to do the same if everything went to plan.
The news that the second movie of the MCU's Phase 4 is about to shatter the record for the holiday box office is surely just what Marvel boss Kevin Feige was waiting to hear. The MCU mastermind recently spoke about the upcoming movie, and although, in usual style, would not reveal too much, he did hint that Shang-Chi's arrival is one that will have ramifications across the future of the MCU, and fans will want to be front of the queue when the movie is released to see exactly what that implies.
"Well, we don't want to spoil anything," Feige said. "But, I think the end of this film gives a pretty clear direction on, at least, how vital and how important and how directly Shang-Chi is stepping into this world. We are reminded of Nick Fury in the tag of Iron Man 1, telling Tony Stark, 'You're part of a bigger universe, you just don't know it yet.' And without giving away, a very similar thing happens to Shang at the end of this movie."
Shang-Chi actor Simu Liu is pretty excited to be bringing the Marvel hero to the big screen, but that doesn't mean that he is any more in the picture that anyone else. He recalled his meeting with Feige, and how he had a lot of questions that the Marvel boss wasn't really ready to answer.
"I think I remember asking Kevin Feige because he brought me into his office and he was like, 'Okay, great. Do you have any questions?' And the first thing that I asked was I was like, 'How is it going to tie to the MCU?' Because that's all I wanted to know. I was like, 'Am I going to be an Avenger? Am I going to see this person? Am I going to fight Thor? Am I going to be best friends with Captain America?' Like, 'Tell me'! And he was just like, 'Simu, you just have to trust us.'"
I think it is fair to say that after all this time, there are many who trust Kevin Feige to know what he is doing, and it is almost time see where Shang-Chi fits into the overall story of the MCU with the movie only days from release.